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Almirola in at Richard Petty Motorsports

While today's signing takes care of the former issue, no new sponsorship has been announced for the #43 although Almirola is expected to have sponsorship from Smithfield Food and the US Air Force.

The announcement of Almirola's appointment is another blow to David Ragan, who is still seeking a replacement drive after himself being ousted from Roush Fenway at the end of 2011. Ragan is now thought to be one of the contenders to take over Almirola's seat in the #88 in the Nationwide Series, although the current favourite for the seat is believed to be Red Bull development driver Cole Whitt.

In other Nationwide series news, it was announced on Tuesday that Kasey Kahne will drive in 15 races in the #38 Turner Motorsports car, with rookie Brad Sweet taking the wheel for the remaining 18 races of the 2012 season.

"Turner Motorsports is a first-class organization with equipment capable of contending for wins week in and week out," a news release quoted Sweet as saying. "I don't think I could be in a better position to take the next step in my racing career."




Related Pictures

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Aric Almirola, Steve Wallace, Danica Patrick, Elliott Sadler, Tony Stewart and  Mike Wallace in a multiple-car wreck on the final lap of the Subway Jalapeno 250 Nationwide race at Daytona International Speedway, July 2011. [Picture credit: Chris Graythen/Getty Images for NASCAR]
Brad Keselowski, driver of the #22 Ruby Tuesday Dodge, and Kevin Harvick, driver of the #33 Rheem Heating, Cooling & Water Heating Chevrolet, lead Aric Almirola, driver of the No. 88 Grand Touring Vodka Chevrolet, during the NASCAR Nationwide Series New England 200 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on July 16 in Loudon, N.H. [Picture Credit: Elsa/Getty Images for NASCAR]
Aric Almirola in the JR Motorsports #88 garage during testing at Daytona International Speedway. [Picture credit: Jerry Markland/Getty Images for NASCAR]
Aric Almirola climbing out of his car at Lucas Oil Raceway, Indianapolis. [Picture credit: Geoff Burke/Getty Images for NASCAR]
Aric Almirola at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. [Picture credit: Elsa/Getty Images for NASCAR
Brad Keselowski, driver of the #2 Miller Lite Ford, races during qualifying for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Food City 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway on April 17, 2015 in Bristol, Tennessee.  (Photo Credit: Todd Warshaw/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kasey Kahne, driver of the #5 Great Clips Chevrolet SS, qualifies for eighth position Friday, April 17, 2015 for Sunday`s NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Bristol Motor Speedway in Bristol, Tennessee. Kahne is fifth in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings. (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Kasey Kahne, driver of the # 5 Great Clips Chevrolet SS, qualifies for fourth position Friday, April 10, 2015 for Saturday night`s NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth, Texas. (Photo by Garry Eller/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Axalta Chevrolet SS, finishes in ninth place racing with Kasey Kahne, driver of the #5 Farmer`s Insurance Chevrolet SS who finishes in eleventh place Sunday, March 29, 2015 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Martinsville Speedway in Ridgeway, Virginia. (Photo by Andrew Coppley/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Paul Menard, driver of the #27 Pittsburgh Paints/Menards Chevrolet, Aric Almirola, driver of the #43 STP Ford, Greg Biffle, driver of the #16 Ortho Ford, Trevor Bayne, driver of the #6 AdvoCare Ford, and Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe`s Chevrolet, are involved in an on-track incident during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series STP 500 at Martinsville Speedway on March 29, 2015 in Martinsville, Virginia.  (Photo Credit: Rob Carr/Getty Images)
Brad Keselowski, driver of the #2 Wurth Ford, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Auto Club 400 at Auto Club Speedway on March 22, 2015 in Fontana, California.  (Photo Credit: Jerry Markland/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Brad Keselowski, driver of the #2 Wurth Ford, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Auto Club 400 at Auto Club Speedway on March 22, 2015 in Fontana, California.  (Photo Credit: Jerry Markland/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Brad Keselowski, driver of the #2 Wurth Ford, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Auto Club 400 at Auto Club Speedway on March 22, 2015 in Fontana, California.  (Photo Credit: Jerry Markland/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Brad Keselowski, driver of the #2 Wurth Ford, celebrates in Victory Lane with girlfriend Paige White after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Auto Club 400 at Auto Club Speedway on March 22, 2015 in Fontana, California. (Photo Credit: Robert Laberge/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Brad Keselowski, driver of the #2 Wurth Ford, celebrates with a burnout after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Auto Club 400 at Auto Club Speedway on March 22, 2015 in Fontana, California. (Photo Credit: Todd Warshaw/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Brad Keselowski, driver of the #2 Alliance Truck Parts Ford (left) and Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Shell-Pennzoil Ford, look on in the garage area during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series CampingWorld.com 500 at Phoenix International Raceway on March 13, 2015 in Avondale, Arizona. (Photo Credit: Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images)
Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Pennzoil Platinum Ford, speaks with Brad Keselowski, driver of the #2 Miller Lite Ford, during qualifying for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Kobalt 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on March 6, 2015 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo Credit: Chris Graythen/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kasey Kahne, driver of the #5 Time Warner Cable Chevrolet SS qualifies for third position Friday, March 6, 2015 for Sunday`s NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Rusty Jarrett/HHP for Chevy Racing)

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